PEP’s WICT trainees complete first commercial assignment

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS — Six members of the Women in Construction Trades (WICT), which is a component of the People Employment Programme (PEP), have recently completed their first commercial assignment in joinery, assembling a kitchen.

“I am very pleased so far to the point where these women have reached,” said WICT Project Coordinator Mrs Celia Christopher. “They have gone through an entire year of training in a theoretical sense of the training and they are now engaged in the practical sense of it.”

Mrs Christopher made the remarks recently at the All Solutions International in the CAP Southwell Industrial Park where a group of women is training in the various aspects of construction trades under Mr Walcott Hillocks, CEO of All Solutions and WICT Facilitator.

The women trainees were assembling a kitchen for a client who had made an order. They started it from the design stage to the fabrication stage, and when Mrs Christopher visited, they were at the finishing stage.

“We have looked at that work, you realise it is top class quality work that they are doing,” said Mrs Christopher, who was accompanied by PEP Assistant Training Coordinator Mrs Diana Pemberton.

“I am very happy because when I was told about this project with women in construction I decided that we have to find someone who is highly qualified in this area to teach them, because I did not want them to go into construction and pick up all the bad habits that are already there.

“We wanted them to make a difference in terms of the quality of work, the fact that women always have an extra eye for beauty and detail, I was feeling very happy to introduce them to the industry.”

Now that the women have shown what they can do, she said that the People Employment Programme would be following the project to ensure that the trainees are offered more opportunities in that area, something that will not only benefit them (the trainees) but the clients.

“I feel like a proud mother working with them, and I just hope that they could continue so that at the end of this process where a lot of money has been spent that all people will see that it has been put into good use when they come out highly skilled and highly recommended to move on to better things,” remarked Mrs Christopher.

Facilitator of Women in Construction Trades (WICT) Mr Walcott Hillocks is commending the government of St. Kitts and Nevis for having started the People Employment Programme (PEP) that has allowed that feat to take place.

“Credit must be to the People Employment Programme, and to the visionaries who thought it necessary to make this opportunity available,” said Mr Hillocks. “Credit also goes to the participants who are using it wisely. They are the ones who are going to be the beneficiaries of what we are teaching here.”

He explained that there were six ladies that are into the actual training of joinery. He said that they worked under his strict supervision because he wanted to ensure that not only the client got a high quality job, but the trainees came out highly competent.

“Supervision is very, very important and at the end of the day we have to do the quality control check to make sure that everything is what it is supposed to be before it is Okayed to leave the shop,” explained Mr Hillock.

“I could stand and say at the end of the day whatever you see here, and is open for anybody to inspect, is in fact international standard and I am welcoming anybody to come and check and see and compare with the stuff you buy from the Home Depot .. anything… as a matter of fact we stand head and shoulders above all of the imports that you get.”

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